More than 60 percent of Hawai‘i’s children under age six live with working parents. For most of these youngsters, child care providers play a vital role in sparking their curiosity and preparing them for school. Recognizing the importance of the early years, the State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Human Services is funding the Quality Care Program to enhance the care that Hawai‘i’s children receive. The program provides technical support and training to care providers working in child care centers and licensed family daycare homes, as well as to informal caregivers such as grandparents, neighbors, and friends.
CTAHR’s Center on the Family administers the Quality Care Program, collaborating with other community partners including Honolulu Community College, the Hawai‘i Association for the Education of Young Children, and PATCH, a statewide child care resource and referral agency.
Center-based child care programs receive assistance in working toward meeting the Hawai‘i Preschool Content Standards for Four-Year-Olds. For many programs, this can be their first step toward accreditation. Training classes are offered for preschool teachers, and program directors receive one-on-one support. For home-based child care providers, Quality Care brings instruction directly into the home with an orientation visit and monthly mailings of educational materials that offer insight into children’s development and ideas for learning activities.
Providers who actively demonstrate their commitment to offer highquality care can receive incentive payments based on the number of lowincome children they serve. Child care providers can participate in the educational aspects of the program regardless of whether they are eligible for payments. All the children in a provider’s care benefit from the program’s training in early childhood development, curriculum guidance, and—for those providers who serve children receiving DHS child care subsidies—an influx of financial resources.
The Quality Care Program gives child care providers new ways to foster our youngest children’s growth, health, and exploration, sowing the seeds of lifetime learning. By supporting caregivers, Quality Care helps keiki thrive.